5 Minutes in Bali with Nina Hearne
It feels like Bali is buzzing right now, with cool new joints opening up and half the Western world on school holidays taking to the streets of Seminyak on two wheels. Ah, the serenity.
If you’re there or heading there soon, be sure to make reservations a couple of days in advance at restaurants old and new, otherwise you will miss out. Here are my picks of the moment.
1. Corner House Bali
Like a phoenix out of the flames that destroyed our beloved Corner Store at the top of Jalan Laksmana a couple of years back, Corner House Bali opened for business last week and is well worth the wait. The beautifully styled lifestyle store – international restaurant, bar and interiors, is a collaboration between equally well-styled Aus-Francaise husband & wife team Matt and Magali. This is a place to be and be seen: having breakfast, lunch, coffee (by Revolver), drinks and (soon) dinner. But basically it’s just a place to be because it’s so bloody lovely. More on this one soon, promise.
Corner House Bali, Jalan Laksmana, no. 10A, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia Kuta 80361, p. +62 361 730276.
2. Watercress Cafe for dinner
Just in case anyone thinks this old favourite has jumped the shark, Watercress now opens evenings with Watercress Malam, big robust cocktails and rustic style dining. This means pairing charred meat and grilled seafood with delicious raw food salads or veggies stirfried to perfection. We had Asian style pork belly, which was out of this world (even – or perhaps especially, after the Babi Guling at the villa the night before). And when chased by big bulbs of Spinifex Shiraz, selected from quite a superb wine list, this meal was one of the very best we’ve ever eaten in Bali.
Watercress Cafe, Jl Batubelig 21a, Kerobokan, Bali 80361, +62 361 (0)7808030. Open 7.30am-4pm and 6pm to 11.30pm.
3. LeMari Eclectic Homewares & Antiques
Beware, the window display at this delicious store will just about rip you off your scooter as you pass by. Along Jalan Batu Belig just before you hit the crazy intersection to Seminyak (if you see Livingstone you’ve gone too far), is a quaint guesthouse moonlighting as an antique and home store. Specialising in rare and decorative antique and vintage items from the Islands of Indonesia along with an exclusive range of homewares, this store is the lifework of a gent from NZ with a very fabulous eye. It’s most certainly worth a look, with its enormous wooden day beds, tables and cabinets, offering affordable prices and international shipping via a preferred third party.
LeMari Eclectic Homewares & Antiques, Jalan Batu Belig No. 1, Badung, Bali, Indonesia 80361, p.+ 62 361 4730219. Open daily 9am-6pm.
4. Lulu Yasmine – the new Petitenget store
You’ll notice a lot of the fancy Oberoi boutiques opening new stores up town in Petitenget. Lulu Yasmine is one of them with her fourth store in Bali which opened in May this year. Designed by Lulu and her husband, this store has a slightly different aesthetic – a gorgeous pink marble façade, and stocks some of the same and some different items from the flagship Laksmana store. As usual, you will just want to buy everything here. Holidays are not meant for restraint.
Lulu Yasmine, Jl. Laksmana No. 100X, Oberoi, Bali, p. +62 361 736763.
A new kid on the strip across from Grocer & Grind, Hobo has two stores – one on Jalan Raya Cendana and Jalan Raya Kerobokan, trading in pieces by the best of Indonesian artists and artisans using the richest of textiles and materials. Under the creative direction of Anna Pretty, the brand prides itself on its ability to produce en masse as well as by quality bespoke. I loved the rattan topped occasional tables, school chairs and desks covered in Javanese batik – ideal for kids’ bedrooms and the vast array of terracotta pots – hand finished in Lombok. After browsing the store, take a load off in Sisterfields – a new boutique café boasting an all day brekkie/lunch menu, pastries and coffee (and it’s by the same guy as Hobo!)